The science & engineering of
dynamic & dexterous movement
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC San Diego


We aim to further the scientific understanding of movement and manipulation in biological systems and to apply this knowledge towards new engineering paradigms in robot design, fabrication, and control. To accomplish this we work at the intersections of robotics, physics, and biology. Our current focus is on movement and manipulation in milli-scale robot and biological systems. We develop new fabrication techniques for construction of robots at millimeter scales. Experiments with agile and dexterous organisms can aid in developing intuition and understanding of effective movement strategies at small scales.

  • Micro-robotics fabrication
  • Mechanism design for stable, dynamic movement
  • Biomechanics of rapid flight maneuvers
  • Manipulation in biology
  • Swarm robots and biology
learn more


  • 4 October 2023

    We are extremely excited to announce publication of our Nature paper in collaboration with the Sponberg lab at Georgia Tech. In this paper we combine evolutionary reconstruction, muscle physiology, nonlinear dynamics, and robots for science (robophysics!) to study how asynchronous insect muscle evolved. Congrats to Gravish lab alum and co-first author James Lynch as well as the rest of the authors. For more info you can read the paper here and checkout the UCSD news here.

  • 20 July 2023

    Shivam's robot work on subterranean burrowing robots (published here) has a great writeup in the UC San Diego Today. Making robots move through sand is HARD! Thankfully we have plenty of it here in San Diego :)

  • 1 September 2022

    We are happy to announce Prof. Gravish has been promoted to Associate professor.

  • learn more


Graduate students: We encourage interested students to contact PI Gravish about potential opportunities.

Post-docs: We do not currently have any funded post-doctoral positions however students who are interested can contact PI Gravish to discuss co-applying for post-doctoral funding.

Undergrads: We are happy to have talented undergraduates work with graduate students on indendent research projects. Contact PI Gravish with an email to get more information.

Recent papers

80. Publications. 2024.                           
79. A reconfigurable soft linkage robot via internal virtual joints. Soft Robotics. 2024.    (In Press).       Journal                     
78. JAMJams: Jagged Anisotropic Mechanically Jamming Appendages for Robot Locomotion. IEEE RoboSoft. 2024.       Conference    PDF:                    
learn more